If you own a business that involves moving heavy objects about, then it is likely that you own a forklift truck or are considering buying one. However, you may not know that forklift trucks can contribute to global warming through the emission of greenhouse gases and chemicals from lead acid batteries. Carbon emissions are increasing globally, so it is important everyone does their part to prevent any more destruction of the planet. This article will talk you through the problems that greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, can cause, and what you and your business can do to help, such as by choosing an electric forklift emissions can be lowered. Read on to find out how your business can become more eco-friendly and save money today.
WHY IS TOO MUCH CARBON DIOXIDE DANGEROUS?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are produced by humans burning fossil fuels like petrol, which is used in machinery like traditional diesel or gas-powered forklifts and cars. These gases are now at the highest levels that have ever been recorded, and unless we take serious action, are unlikely to reduce.
Carbon dioxide makes up 75% of all greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and can linger for up to 1000 years approximately. This is why it is important to find an alternative source of power to fossil fuels, as the more fossil fuels we burn.
It is important to consider just how much greenhouse gases are released by each country per year, as we can establish a pattern and try to target each country’s issues individually.
HOW MUCH CARBON DIOXIDE IS RELEASED GLOBALLY?
Different countries have varying levels of carbon emissions, and it’s no surprise that most of these are caused by heavy industry and machinery such as forklifts and other plant. Countries across the world are taking action to reduce their carbon emissions.
In Australia, there are 789 g CO2/kWh of electricity used. They have signed the Paris Climate Agreement and are looking to reduce their emissions by 26-29% by 2030. They are using their Emissions Reduction Fund (EMF) to give investment to businesses and farmers to reduce their emissions.
Japan has 572 g CO2/kWh of carbon released. In 2018, Japan established its Strategic Energy Plan, with goals set for 2030. The plan aimed to reduce coal use from 32 to 26 percent, to increase renewables from 17 to 22-24 percent, and to increase nuclear from 6 to 20-22 percent of the energy production mix.
Europe is also working to lower its carbon emissions. The EU has put in place legislation to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 – as part of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework and contribution to the Paris Agreement. This will be done in a range of ways including: legislation on renewable energy, energy efficiency and governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action.
The same study points out that while electric forklifts do not emit tailpipe fumes, the use of traditional lead-acid batteries can still contribute to environmental destruction. However, the use of forklifts with lithium ion batteries can prevent this. Read on to find out exactly what lithium ion batteries are and how they can help save the environment and your money.
LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES AND REDUCED ELECTRIC FORKLIFT EMISSIONS
Lithium-ion batteries are great energy savers compared to traditional batteries. If you are looking to purchase a forklift but are concerned about the environmental impact, then you should look for a forklift truck that is powered by lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries have been in use for around 30 years, but it is only recently that the size and capacity of these batteries have been increased so they work with larger machinery, rather than just laptops and mobile phones, like they were originally designed for. Lithium batteries can now be used for larger items of machinery such as electric forklifts, cars and bikes. Lithium is a light and reactive metal, which means it is ideal for heavy equipment like forklifts as it won’t add too much extra weight, and can store a lot of power in its chemical bonds which is released at a steady rate.
WHY ARE LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES IMPORTANT FOR FORKLIFTS?
You may be wondering what the connection is between forklifts, lithium-ion batteries and the reduction of carbon emissions by now. Well, because traditional forklifts run on acid batteries or fossil fuels, they have been considered as polluters and bad for the planet. However, with the use of lithium ion batteries, we are entering a new generation of forklifts that do not have a massive impact on the environment, do not weigh as much as these batteries are light and can run for longer as lithium-ion batteries store more electricity.
Traditional lead-acid batteries are bad for the environment, and when they break down they release harmful chemicals into the air and soil. Lithium-ion batteries require less charging than lead-acid batteries, so use less power, saving energy. Not only does reducing energy consumption help the environment, but it is also cheaper for you in the long run, as lithium-ion takes less time to charge and holds more power than lead-acid.
At this point, hopefully you know the benefits of purchasing a forklift with lithium-ion batteries over a fossil fuel or traditional lead acid battery model. Lots of forklifts now have lithium-ion batteries, so there’s a wide choice, which can be confusing. A great model of forklift truck that comes highly recommended is the EFL302.
The EFL302 forklift truck combines the advantages of electric forklift trucks with IC trucks. Instead of an inefficient, environmentally damaging lead-acid battery, there is a 205AH lithium-ion battery installed. This also means that a diesel engine is not involved, avoiding any unnecessary, damaging emissions. The truck also has other fantastic features like a large driver compartment, strong chassis, large wheels and standard components. Lithium-ion batteries are typically much lighter than traditional diesel engines and lead-acid batteries, so it should be easier to handle for the operator. Remember, lithium-ion batteries hold more charge and take less time to charge than traditional lead-acid batteries, so this will save you and your business time and money.
The large wheels of the forklift make it suitable for outdoor and indoor use. This model can get a member of staff about a factory quickly and handle plenty of weight. It is perfect for outdoors as the wheels have a fantastic grip and are suitable for any terrain, meaning you can transport fragile goods such as equipment or other delicate loads without it being broken.
The major advantages of a diesel truck still exist, as this forklift design is based on a diesel model, but with a much more efficient lithium-ion battery. This model has all the advantages, handling capabilities and steering power of a diesel, but the swap to a lithium-ion battery means less charging time and more driving time. This will also save money.
The capacity of this forklift truck is 3000kg, which means you can carry heavy stock quickly and efficiently across your warehouse or between buildings. Usually, a diesel forklift would burn through a lot of fossil fuels by carrying this weight, but a forklift truck with a lithium-ion battery avoids this problem and helps you do your bit for the environment.
SAVE THE PLANET WHILE BUYING YOUR FORKLIFT
It is important to do your research before buying a large piece of machinery for your business, so we hope this guide to electric forklift emissions has helped outline the issues with diesel and battery-powered vehicles and shown you the benefits of alternatives like lithium-ion models. The human race has done a lot of damage to the planet, and now is the time to fix it. Cutting out fossil fuels massively reduces the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, so purchasing a forklift truck with a lithium-ion battery will help. You can see from the statistics above that each country produces far too many greenhouse gases, and you now understand the effects of these gases on us and the planet. Make the right choice and buy a lithium-ion powered forklift truck today.